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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.




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Obama 13, Us 12, Detroit 11, Paul Ryan 9, America 6, California 5, George W. Bush 5, Msnbc 4, Dyson 3, Zerlina 3, Georgia 3, China 3, Warfarin 3, Kevin Orr 3, Katrina 3, Boehner 3, Irin Carmon 2, Michael Eric Dyson 2, Peyton Manning 2, Joe Biden 2,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    December 3, 2013
    1:00 - 2:01pm PST  

in for martin bashir. it's tuesday, december 3rd, and the president has a message on health care. it ain't going nowhere. ♪ for too long, few things left working families more vulnerable than a broken health care system. in america, nobody should have to worry about going broke because somebody if their family or they got sick. today the website is working well for the vast majority of users. this law is working, and will work into the future. my main message today is we're not going back. we're not repealing it as long as i'm president. back on offense. after two months of being battered by bad media mojo and headaches, president obama is renewing the
push for his signature health care law. and this white house knows, they have no time to waste. to promote the law and boost enrollment, the administration will hold an event every single day from now until december 23rd, the deadline to enroll and get insurance for the new year. and it all started this afternoon, with the president himself, who said we are not going back. >> and that seems to be the only alternative that obama care's critics have, is let's go back to the status quo, because they sure haven't presented an alternative. you've got good ideas? bring them to me. let's go. but we're not repealing it as long as i'm president. >> no, we're not going to repeal the law. and, in fact, the real ballots may have just begun. >> if i've got to fight another three years to make sure this law works, that's what i'll do. what's important for everybody to remember is, not only that the law has already helped millions of people, but that there are millions more who
stand to be helped. and we've got to make sure they know that. >> the fresh offensive by the president is a sign that the white house is no longer hamstrung by the problem-plagued website. the president's chief of staff said today that 1 million visitors had checked out on monday, with about 13,000 choosing to receive an e-mail to come back at another time. and with the site much improved, house republicans are clearly on the hunt for a new line of attack. >> and it's not just a broken website. this bill is fundamentally flawed. >> while the white house wants to claim that is working, we know that obama care is still plagued with problems. and every american deserves relief from it. >> every american deserves relief from it. really? would that include the 129 million americans with preexisting conditions who can no longer be denied coverage or charged more? do 105 million americans really want to go back to having lifetime limits on their care? and what about that republican alternative for covering the
uninsured, reducing costs and all the rest? speaker boehner? >> the american people want to be able to pick their own type of health insurance. they want to be able to pick their own doctor. they want to be able to pick their own hospital. that's what a patient-centered health care system looks like. . you know, actually, mr. speaker, that's a lot of what the affordable care act already does. extending benefits to americans who before now have basically had two choices for their health care. their own home remedies or the emergency room. joining us now is our panel, political analyst, zerlina maxwell, and msnbc political analyst, professor michael eric dyson. ladies first. zerlina, we're seeing the president on offense, back where he is comfortable in campaign mode. too little too late, or is this what the president needs to do? >> he absolutely needs to do this. i'm surprised that it took them this long. i know they were waiting for the website to get back up and running, and to a degree in which people are able to log on the vast majority of people. but the bottom line, on january 1st, there's 500,000 people already enrolled. on january 1st, when people can
go to the doctor, there are going to be endless anecdotes of people finally getting the care they have waited for for years and years. and i think that republicans don't have an alternative. and that's why it's important that democrats start now, be on offense and go to the mid terms next year. >> and the point that zerlina made is just that, you're going to have people getting care, those kinds of stories. so republicans are trying to solicit stories of nightmares, everything that they are doing now has to be negative. what is the republican message at this point when people are actually getting the coverage? >> well, they're trying to do the bush doctrine. preemptive strikes. try to do it right now, because we know those stories are going to cumulate, as ms. maxwell said, and the anthropology of recovery. and so what happens is, that those people who are recovering, who begin to tell those stories, who begin to tell the truth about what they got. and look, what the president said today is going to become more true. so this is why they're more antagonist antagonistic. the people who ain't got don't get. and is the people who already had going to get better. that's big news when it comes to the fact that, oh, i can stay on
my health plan, whereas before i had to get kicked off. now i can stay on and the medicine won't run out and i can address the illness, which will reduce costs in the long run, which is ideal for republican government, except president obama is at the head of this government. >> that his name is on it. and, you know, the professor says the people who ain't got it go and get. but there are people who aren't going to get, and that's the people being locked out in the 25 states not taking the medicaid expansion, a huge way the health care act was going to expand access to care. is there something the democrats can do politically with that? because they haven't real seemed to touch it until now. >> i think they can focus on that message in those states and people running for congress in those states can say, i will work with the governor, i will promote the expansion of medicaid in this state for my constituents. because people want to go to the doctor. the idea that, you know, republicans have no alternative is a big difference between democrats and republicans, because democrats want people to be able to go to the doctor, and republicans do not. that is the fundamental, you know, framework for what we're
talking about. and i think that democrats have an advantage. republicans want them to think it's a disadvantage. that obama care, the website, wasn't working and all the glitches. but come next year when people are going to the doctor, it's going to be a plus for democrats. >> well, it does feel like professor dyson, that's exactly where the president was going. i want to play more sound from today, because he was pretty much sending that exact same message. let's lesson. >> you can't just say that the system was working with 41 million people without health insurance. you can't just say that the system is working when you've got a whole bunch of folks who thought they had decent insurance, and then when they got sick, it turned out it wasn't there for them. go back, take a look at what's actually going on. because it can make a difference in your lives, and lives of your families. >> so, you know, professor dyson, one of the biggest criticisms of the president and democrats and the way they did health care reform, they never really explained that to people. never explained why you have to do health care reform. so that when it happened, people
really weren't even understanding why we had to go through these changes. has the president gotten better at explaining it? is there still time to reintroduce the idea of health care reform? >> it's definitely his desi arnez moment. lucy, you've got some explaining to do. so he's trying to break it down. he talks about bill clinton as explainer in chief. and bill clinton is great. but barack obama has got mad skills, because he clients that baptist preacher-like, slow cadence, where he can get the humor in there. and preachers will say god will slow walk you. and then he's got the peyton manning -- sorry for these analogies. peyton manning throws the ball before the receiver turns the ball to where it should be so he can receive it when it gets there. so what obama is hoping is that i'm going to put out there now. because a year from now, people aren't going to remember the roll-out stuff. it's going to be like thank god i went to the doctor and it wasn't the emergency ward and guess what? now i've got my diabetes under control, my chemotherapy here,
my viagra. there will be millions of men who will rise to the occasion and say we are grateful for what he has done. >> i just caught that. the thing is, zerlina, i think it's actually true, as funny as that was -- and i'm glad you made that appointment, the website is such a fixation, particularly in terms of media could haverag coverage, because something a reporter can log on to and demonstrate for themselves. it's as if they're acting the website literally can last for another year. because there is not an election for another year. how is that possible, they think that can keep going? >> i don't know. i mean, the problem for them is that obama care is their plan. and that's why they don't have anything to say. and they had to focus on the website. so i think the media and republicans were behind the narrative. you know, this shutdown affected the website coverage. and then the website was getting fixed and we were still talking about the website as if it was broken. and i think that the bottom line here is that once you sign up for insurance, you're not thinking about a website. on january 1st, when i go to the
doctor, i'm not going to be thinking about the website. and nobody is going to ask me about the website. how long did it take you to sign up? nobody is going to be asking that. when you go to get your prescription and no co-pay for preventive care for women, you're not going to be thinking about the website. >> i think about the history books in 2040, are they going to be reading about health care or a web site? nobody is going to care. i have to divert one question about detroit, professor dyson. obviously, you are a detroit native. and get your comments. detroit bankrupt, run by an unelected manager. it's a mess. >> it is a mess. chaotic. and it is a repudiation directly of democratic principle, because kevin orr, good brother he is, is really in place of a mayor who the people elected. not only that, they didn't want a city manager to be appointed. and despite their wishes, despite the wishes of the voters, a governor imposed this on the voters of detroit. and now when you bring kevin orr in, look, if you are having trouble in your marriage, do you bring in a divorce lawyer or
counselor? which one you bring in tells me what you're thinking about. already they were thinking we're going to bankrupt this city. and there's 100 and some other odd cities out here in the same position. are they going to do that to them? and i can't help but believe that the re pudation of democracy is a sad day for america. i know naacp has prepared a lawsuit, along with others to appeal this decision. but i think this is a sad day in america and democracy. but guess what, this is theca anywayy in the coal mine. what's to detroit now will happen to you later. and about the health care thing, they think the menu is messed up. the actual food was great in the restaurant. >> right. >> the menu is messed up. we ain't going to eat the menu, dude. >> and high ironic the same party providing health insurance through private insurers is a government takeover, but they -- elected manager in charge of detroit. kind of ironic. super big government. zerlina maxwell, professor michael eric dyson. thanks to both of you. coming up, health care saboteurs beware. time is running out.
and do nothing is not a plan. we'll bring in a democratic member of congress when we come back. ♪ i remember the day my doctor said i had diabetes. there's a lot i had to do... ... watch my diet. stay active. start insulin... today, i learned there's something i don't have to do anymore. my doctor said that with novolog® flexpen, i don't have to use a syringe
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house republicans are poised to break their own record for do nothingness. to date, only 52 bills have become law in the first session of the 113th congress. that's compared to about 90 at this point by the previous record-holder for inaction, the 112th congress. then again, a broken record should come as no surprise, since that pretty much what the grand old party sounds like these days. seriously. >> it is time for the other chamber to get serious. chairman ryan has done a very good job of outlining very
serious offers. we've done our work. the house has done its work. the house continues to do its job. it's time for the senate to get serious about doing theirs. >> joining us jackie spear of california. welcome. so your speaker, the house speaker, says it's time for you guys -- the democratic party, gentlemen and ladies, to get serious about doing your job. what has prevented you from being serious about getting things done? >> speaker boehner is speaking for his caucus, which has really failed. every bill that has come over from the senate side has been dead on arrival, whether it was immigration or fairness in internet sales tax. all of these measures coming over from the senate are literally wilting here, because the committee system on the house side is unwilling to take these measures up. so i think he is looking through a different lens. >> well, your colleagues on the other side of the aisle actually
do have an idea that they want to put forward. and it would ease sequestration, a couple measure of the republican house caucus would like to ease sequestration by cutting social security. is that the kind of seriousness that americans are looking for out of congress, or in a way, should americans be kind of glad they're not getting a lot done because that's the kind of thing they want to do? >> well, good point. but that is -- in my view, dead on arrival, both among democrats and in the senate. to somehow say we want to ease sequestration so we can line the pockets of defense contractors and by the way we're going to do it on the backs of senior citizens in this country, is just an anathema, to me and most people in this country, generally, and certainly the democrats in the house and senate. >> and meanwhile, congresswoman, neo conservative commentator bill crystal, here on msnbc touting a seemingly secret plan, a paul ryan plan that would replace the affordable care act.
can you give us any intel on what that secret plan is? >> i think it's so secret that it hasn't been developed yet. i think the republicans have -- since we passed the affordable care act back in 2010, they have talked about just repeal. repeal, repeal. then they said repeal and replace. but then they had nothing to replace it with. so it is really a bottomless pit of ideas that never seem to come to the surface in the republican caucus. and i think it's because they really don't want to have a solution for those who have been uninsured. the 45 million americans who are uninsured. that is not who they seek to represent. and they're not interested in finding a way to provide them with health insurance. but mind you, all of us, all of us end up paying when the 45 million are uninsured. because the costs of our premiums sky rocket when the
uncompensated care is paid for by the hospitals and the insurers. so we're all in this boat together. and we've got to find a way to not have it sink. and the affordable care act is a way of creating an individual mandate for everyone, so everyone has health insurance, like everyone is supposed to carry auto insurance. and in that setting, then we can spread the risk and we can keep the premiums low. >> you know, to the point you just made, congresswoman, about republicans not wanting to represent the constituents, the constituency that superintendent have health care, i want to talk to you quickly about an example in your own state. republicans in your state have published this guide book. et a guide to navigating health care. but in it are sort of loaded language, like healthy adults visit the doctor very seldom and are money-makers for insurers. and it's got this description of a penalty rather than a subsidy calculator. calculator for it. have these attempts to undermine the law, have they had any impact on the law's success in california? >> actually, not at all. california is a great example
where if states take on the responsibility of developing their own website, it has worked extremely well. we have close to 400,000 who are now enrolled. what we see is that young people are enrolling consistent with their number in the population. so in california, we're seeing some very good results in terms of the affordable care act working. but to your point, whether it's the republican in california or the insurance commissioner in georgia who is a republican, their whole game plan, their play book, is all about obstructing. and the insurance commissioner in georgia went so far as to say i am the obstructionist and i will do everything in my power as the insurance commissioner of georgia to make sure that the affordable care act doesn't work. when you're dealinging with people trying to tear down what we're trying to create, you can see that it makes it somewhat more challenging. but we will not just survive in this environment.
we will see people thriving with new health insurance, with the kinds of opportunities to get preventive care so they stay healthy, all of which is going to serve all of us very well this the future. >> all right. congresswoman jackie spear, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. coming up, a rare moment of bipartisan agreement on gun reform, as congress literally does the very least it can do. but first, senator marco rubio during perhaps the most he can do for tween interests at home and abroad. >> do not underestimate the strong cultural lengths that continue between our countries, because as i appropriate to travel here, the most common question i got in my home was whether when they found out i was going to london whether i was going to get to meet any of the members of one direction. and i told them i would not, but i would send my regards. [ male announcer ] this is jim,
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breaking news. well, sort. the house voted this afternoon to pass an extension on a gun control law. yes, you heard me right. the house of representatives voted for further gun regulation. but before you go into shock, i should explain this is not a new law but rather than a ten-year extension of a 25-year-old ban on firearms that can pass unnoticed through metal detectors. an important law in the age of 3-d plastic gun protection. this may actually literally be the least congress can do. of course, you need no reminder there has been no gun reformulation in the one year since the mass shooting of 20 children and 6 educators in newtown, connecticut. who knows, perhaps that position will soften tomorrow when congress can hear for the first time the 911 recordings from inside sandy hook elementary on that fateful day. the connecticut state attorney has decided not to appeal last week's ruling to release the
tapes, allowing them to be made public tomorrow afternoon, as planned. we'll have more on the 911 calls in tomorrow's broadcast. and while we don't know what exactly is on those recordings, maybe, just maybe, the sound of horror will force congress to think twice about gun reform in the new year. stay with us. it's mission impossible in today's top lines. don't take the bait. >> has the president signed up for obama care or the affordable care act? >> i don't have an update for you on that. i know that he will, and has said that he will. and the white house has said he will. but i don't have an update. >> do you know what he's waiting for, and when he does do that, will he make it open press? >> i'll get back to you. [ male announcer ] here's a question for you. if every u.s. home replaced one light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb, the energy saved could light how many homes?
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from the republicans' great
opportunity to the republicans' great hoax, here are today's top lines. mission accomplished. >> there's a lot of concern about the affordable care act, obama care, right now. >> president obama celebrates thanksgiving. >> people are talking about it over the country. >> just like your uncle, he spent the whole meal bitching about obama care. >> i don't know how you affect the many fundamental problems much. >> the disaster of obama care. >> unmitigated political disaster. >> this is just the beginning. >> terrible. >> this week will take further steps to strengthen our economy. >> the white house about to go on a pr offensive. >> is now stable. 90% of the time. >> 100,000, roughly, were able to enroll. >> and has achieved its goals, all be it two months late. >> is it mission accomplished? >> president obama is kind of getting all the late-night jokes now. >> as i was saying, john -- >> better him than me. >> let me try to crystallize
that down. is it mission accomplished? >> using that phrase is a -- >> yeah! >> not one i would employ. chkt the absence of a compelling counter narrative to a proposal on the health care. >> you can't beat something with nothing. >> is it at all relevant here? >> do republicans have to say, here's what we want to do on health care. >> yeah, they do. >> they have had positive proposals, but at active promo -- >> republicans do have some positive alternatives. >> haven't done a good job explaining them. i think paul ryan will unveil. >> i think paul ryan will introduce a set of republican alternatives. >> not one huge bill. but a proposal for medicare, medicaid, individual market, corporate market and i think that will be in january and will help republican candidates say with more comfort and i think more truth that republicans do have a positive reform agenda in health care. >> let's get right to our panel. joining us now is mckay coppins of buzz er irin carmon, and brian bought
letter. >> there is so much psychological stuff here. bill crystal from the neo conservatives, this obsession with mission accomplished. all of this sort of george w. bush kind of iconography creeping back in. but not from democrats. from republicans. from the rupert murdochian "wall street journal." how did george w. bush go from being the beloved president who was the icon of the right to a dirty word? >> right. that's what's so fascinating here. this comes at a time when republicans are very happy to know that george w. bush's approval ratings, like all presidents after they leave office, have gone up. and you know, a few weeks ago we heard a lot of conservatives say george w. bush has a better approval rating than barack obama, even, right? and yet the -- it's conservatives and republicans who are invoking him as, you know, the best dig they can get in at obama is comparing him to george w. bush. it does show how far the republican party has drifted in various directions, mind you. not in one direction. but away from the bush years.
and they are still trying to distance themselves from that. >> and i mean, brian, it's fascinating. we have had mission accomplished. we have had things being called obama's katrina. it literally does feel like -- insinuating things -- his iraq. are we literally going to have the right replay the entirety of the bush presidency, but as a way to attack barack obama? >> well, i think that any of bush's liabilities are sort of fair game. if you're republican. i mean, if you think about it this way, one way -- there are two ways to rehabilitate your image after you've -- you've you've damaged with it with iraq or katrina. one is do hard work oh of repairing your reputation by governing well again. the other is to neutralize the damage by tarring your opponent with the same sort of liability. and i think that that's why the analogies to katrina and iraq have been impressive lengths. if in six years now republicans repeal obama care and try to implement paul ryan care and it's an implementation debacle,
democrats will say it's worse. it's an easy way to balance things out when you've kind of screwed up your own image. >> it feels like a combination of trolling and working out some deep psychological issues. you've covered the right. is this trolling or psychosis or psychological reaction to disappointment in bush? >> i mean, i would say that if i were president obama, i would say where is my jet landing, where is my flight suit? there is something deeply disrespectful about these analogies when you think about the number of casualties of americans, both in katrina and iraq war. yes, all of us who were literature majors are big fans of metaphor, but there has to be a proportion between a website that has a bad back end and this sort of -- like catastrophes that cost people's lives. but i think the right has to basically come up with a narrative that explains the bush years. and that's basically what we have seen in part with the tea party. we have been -- either it was bush wasn't conservative enough, he was surrounded by people who were incompetent. i mean, there are all of these -- a lot of the
conservative attacks on obama allow them to kind of shift responsibility for what happened in those years, or to say we're a new conservatism, the one true conservatism and not going to fall into the same sort of pitfalls the bush administration did. >> it does feel like even the disrespect toward the president, a lot of reasons for it. but some does seem to be rooted in this idea what was done to our guy, we're going to do twice over to your guy. and so we're at a point where republicans can't even allow president obama to succeed with a program rooted in conservative ideas. because he is your guy so we have to take him down. >> well, you do see this in various facets on the right that the dominant goal often on the right, these days, and this hasn't always been true. but now is they want to make their opponents angry. more than they want to beat them, more than they want to accomplish something else. and this is part of being the party out of power, right? but the party out of power, they want to make liberals angry. they want to control them. i think the kyron has it right.
this is trolling. this is saying whatever you can to try to provoke them, right? and i think that's where the bush analogies come from. they know that liberals, especially for his two -- two terms in office, was the most hated man on the left, right? and so they say what's the way we can most get them angry? we'll compare them to bush. >> and a party still very much in the this ral of rush limbaugh and sarah palin. >> and the same media style at the center. at the risk of making another, brian, sort of inappropriate analogy, it does in a way feel like this bill crystal media tour where he's saying there is this secret paul ryan plan that's going to solve health care better than the affordable care act. does feel a little bit like nixon's secret plan to get out of vietnam, right? there is -- there doesn't seem to be any actual substance to the plan, or am i wrong? >> i might eat my words for saying this. my hunch is we're not going to see a scorable piece of legislation come out of the
republican party. but that doesn't mean that, you know, you can't kind of ascertain what paul ryan and, you know, the sort of mainstream of the house republican caucus believes about what should replace obama care if it were to ever be replaced. >> what is that? please help us. >> there's no consensus plan. and so even, you know -- there's -- there can't be a vote on a replace. there can only be a vote on a repeal. but, you know, from his old road map, which became the sort of baseline for his budget, there is private advertising medicare, devolving medicaid back to the states there. is creating but not really financing high-risk pools in states so people with preexisting conditions can get covered. there's selling insurance across state lines, which would sort of devolve the quality of insurance that's available for healthy people on the individual market. these individuals have been around on the right forever. they're not really workable, i don't think, as a comprehensive alternative to obama care that really does sort of, you know, dot all the is and cross all the ts you need to get everybody
insured. and so i imagine that what you're going to see is sort of like a focus grouped repackaging of those sorts of ideas. right. but that i would be very surprised if they came out with a bill that could go to cbo, the republicans will vote on, you know, right after voting to repeal obama care, vote on the paul ryan health care bill. i don't see that happening, but, again, i might eat my words. >> ryan, i don't know how you left off on tort reform. all these sort of basket of ideas, what they have in common, number one, they're really expensive, health savings accounts, all these things that return the costs back on to the insured, right, rather than putting them on the marketplace. and then really not popular. so republicans are basically saying, we're going to take away something that as of january 1st, people will actually tangibly have and replace it with something they must understand people don't want. does this make any sense? >> i don't know why bill crystal is walking around talking on behalf of paul ryan, as paul ryan is going to swoop in on a unicorn. >> he's going to be greeted as a
liberator. >> right, he's going to come down in a jet landing. i do think that the reason this is unyou likely to happen, and brian is unlikely to eat his words, and i will eat my words too if i'm wrong, we're going into the mid terms. as you mentioned, these are tremendously unpopular ideas. to to the extent they were in the ryan budget, a liability for republicans in 2012. i just don't see them giving the opportunity for people to say they're going to take away this kind of coverage or they're going to hurt seniors. >> by the way, the only way paul ryan comes out and actually introduces a piece of legislation with these ideas is if he decides not to run for president in 2016. so that will be a good telltale sign of ryan's ambitions come next year. >> yeah, pro tip for republicans. never let bill krista speak for you. he was wrong. mckay coppins, irin carmon, brian boughtler, thanks. to joe biden in asia. a note on both stories, straight ahead. if i can impart one lesson to a
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making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger. right now, the ntsb is providing an update on the new york train derailment that left four dead and dozens others injured. it was this time yesterday that we learned the train was traveling 82 miles per hour as it entered a 30-mile-an-hour zone. moments ago, officials responded to the possibility the train's brake system had failed. >> we've determined that the metro north mechanical department performed a proper brake test prior to the accident train leaving the station and there were no anomalies noted. in addition, the crew conducted what's called a running air brake test shortly after leaving the station, and, again, no anomalies were noted.
we also looked at the data for each of the station stops along the route, and saw no anomalies or degradation of the braking performance, as the trip went along. simply put, based on these data, there's no indication that the brake systems were not functioning properly. >> investigators say they do not know the condition of the engineer moments before the crash. they did say alcohol tests came back negative. his cell phone data has not yet been analyzed. and an interview with him continues. meanwhile, two other stories we're following today in detroit. a federal judge ruled today as we said earlier that the motor city is eligible for chapter 9 bankruptcy. which means a long, unpleasant road ahead. first and foremost, cuts across the board, including to pensions for city workers, some of whom outside the courtroom protesting today's proceedings. earlier today on msnbc, the city's outgoing democratic mayor told my colleague, alex wagner, everything is on the table.
>> there's no other way for us to solve the problem in detroit, but all of us come to the table, understanding that all of us are going to have to participate in some element of pain to fix the problem. not going to be easy. now the hard work starts. >> detroit's unelected state-appointed emergency manager, kevin orr, will be leading the negotiations with the city's creditors and unions. the city claims it's roughly $18 billion in debt, which includes about $3.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. although that latter number is in dispute. in addition to unfunded health care and other liabilities. meanwhile, overseas, president -- vice president joe biden, arrives in beijing this evening. as tensions grow between china and japan over the ownership of two islands barely more than a pile of rocks as the "new york times" puts it. japan controls the islands. however, last week china claimed them as part of a new air defense identification zone. while in japan, as part of a six-day tour of asia, biden warned the chinese government
this move risks a larger confrontation with japan and its allies. >> we, the united states, are deeply concerned by the attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the east china sea. this action has raised regional tensions and increased the risk of accidents and miscalculation. >> the u.s. ordered unarmed b-52s to fly through the area. while some believe china has overplayed its hand, others have questioned the white house's resolve to challenge the country's growing influence in the region. coming up, 'tis the season for a good old fashioned war on christmas. just in time for speaker boehner's tree lighting. there it is. that's coming up at 5:00 p.m. and santa may or may not be available. >> outside an ontario, california walmart, a man dressed as santa claus was arrested as part of the protest. >> oh, my god.
how bad does your organization have to be for santa to be protesting your labor conditions? the man runs an elf sweat shop. ♪ last christmas i gave you my heart but the very next day you gave it away ♪
a few minutes from now, speaker john boehner will oversee the lighting of the capitol christmas tree, which can only mean one thing. there's a war on christmas! >> everything was swell, up until about ten years ago, when creepy secularism and pressure groups like the aclu began attacking the christmas holiday. they demanded, demanded the word "christmas" be removed from advertising and public displays, and many people caved into that. >> yes, yes, the same week the white house christmas tree was delivered, the capitol hill
christmas tree is being lit. and right here at rockefeller center, we'll have our annual christmas tree lighting event called "christmas in rockefeller center," there are those who still insist that christmas is being made war upon. for more, i'm joined by josh barrow and the dean obidalah. the muslims are coming on christmas. >> they are. >> i want to start with josh. you said that essentially on the right, they are fermenting their annual war on christmas, but it's really a bad idea politically. why is that? >> so the nrcc, the campaign committee for republicans in the house put out this t-shirt that said happy holidays is what liberals say. if you want to say merry christmas, that's fine. it's a nice sentiment. but sometimes people want to say happy holidays, because they're talking to people of a variety of religious traditions. >> right. >> and if somebody wants to say that, that's also a nice thing to say. and when you say no you shouldn't say happy holidays, you're basically saying i don't
want to recognize people who aren't christians. and so you have this republican party that is scratching its head about why it can't get nonwhite voters to vote for them. mitt romney did worse with asian voters than hispanics. only 42% of asian-americans are christians. so republicans are scratching their heads saying why are we doing so badly with this group? maybe part of the problem, you're creating this idea that you don't like various outside other groups like nonchristians and maybe you should stop that. >> maybe that would be a good idea. is there really -- let's try to give some space to the argument on the right. is there really a sort of attack that goes on when people say the words "merry christmas?" is there some sort of societal attack on them? >> as a muslim, i've been leading the war on christmas and losing horribly. >> terrible job. >> it's unreal. i cannot believe, honestly, the words -- i can't believe bill o'reilly believes the words coming out of his mouth. christmas is everywhere. i don't know if anyone has been offended by saying merry christmas. if someone said merry christmas to me, i'm not offended.
there is literally 100 tv holiday christmas specials. i'm not kidding. the brady christmas, nbc, how much more attention does the right need for christmas? they're worse than miley cyrus at this point. the amount of attention. and i don't think it's about broadening the base. it's about circling the wagons and say polls show 90% of republicans are conservatives or moderate christians. they don't care about embracing. >> josh, clearly, dean doesn't care about the important christmas annual tradition of declaring a war on christmas. clearly, he doesn't see the importance of that. but i think you might. isn't -- it also about rewarding and constantly stroking a right wing base that does feel "morning jo "morning joe" marginalized overall, and needs these traditions like say there is a war on christmas to feel special? >> yeah, and i think it's more broadly part of an appeal from the republican party to people who feel like america is changing in ways they're uncomfortable with. the country is becoming more diverse, becoming less christian, less white. and it's not an overt appeal to
that. say it's not saying well nonchristians are bad. but it's saying, you know, shouldn't this dominant cultural group, these white christians, thuddant they continue to be recognized in the way they have been for so long and, you know, it's something that you get deep down enough, it is kind of ugly. but i don't think that most of the people who are saying, you know, i want to say merry christmas, it's not that they're necessarily taking this strong, ugly position. but i think it's a little bit of a dog whistle. and that's a problem for the party going forward. >> and speaking of dog whistles, we have been waiting for the pope who i happen to think is fabulous. but we have been waiting for the pope to finally start to take some incoming from the right, because he has been talking about poverty, god forbid. caring for the poor and maybe not naked capitalism be the be all and end-all. it has happened. we have had rush limbaugh go after pontiff-ecs.
catholics, are they now inviting catholics to say hold on a second, now you're attacking our guy. >> i think that's part of it. i think there is no big thought process. i think it's reaction immediately. they're very defensive. i think they have sensed the world is closing in. frankly, they are becoming the minority in this country, demographically. also as a party. but when you hear rush bishop mclaw and people on the right talk about the war on christmas and keeping christ in christmas, i would respect that more if they kept christian values in public policy they were advocates, not advocatiing slashing food stamps or getting rid of obama care, providing 40 million americans with insurance coverage. instead you have rush limbaugh saying that the pope is a marxist. has he ever read the bible? talks so much about caring for the poor. caring for people in need. it even says it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than a rich person to go to heaven. that doesn't matter to seem people on the right. their christianity is their own form. and that concerns me. >> that is the point. josh, at the end of the day,
what rush limbaugh is attacking the pope for is espousing the very things jesus said in the bible. suddenly this is marxism? haven't they sort of really gone around the bend if they're going to attack, a., an important religious leader in the world and basket, somebody talking about what their value supposedly espoused, christian tanty. >> i think there is room for disagreement among christians about economic policy and about, you know, the extent to which we have a responsibility to use the government to reduce income inequality. so i don't think you have to agree with the pope on this if you're a christian, especially if you're not a catholic. but i do think going after him is a little bit unwise. i also think this war on christmas thing is a little bit funny in that it's really not about keeping christ in christmas. a lot of it is about these ads from retailers for the very commercialized version of christmas, gift-giving and santa. some extent, separating the big civicel holiday and celebration that lasts six weeks in december from the religious experience of it, might actually make it a little bit more of a religious holiday when we're saying it's not something that we have to
apply to everybody for everything that's happening in december that creates space for it to actually be about the christian holiday. >> and very quickly, i wanted to talk to you, dean, about your piece on the war on thanksgiving. you say the real war on these holidays is making people have to go to work on them. >> that was my thought and i wrote something for the daily beast. for the first time, more retail chains than ever opened up you early. 1 million workers had to leave their family on thanksgiving to go to work to do specials for a christmas that does not exist, apparently. the war on christmas doesn't exist any longer. and i was concerned about that. and employees are not taking this easily. many have signed petitions, target employees, walmart employees, employees around the country, saying i don't want to work on thanksgiving, and it's not about those -- if they want to work, that's fine. but there are many who don't want to work. >> we're out of time. but people working on christmas. you've got to be against that. >> there are all sorts of jobs where people have to work on holidays. i think this is a lot of piety from members of the press who would never dream of working on thanksgiving. easy to be against it. >> oh, josh, baaa hum bug. thanks to both of you. we'll be right back. if you're seeing spots before your eyes...
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an exclusive entire view with president obama thursday at 7:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. coming up right now, "the ed show," with ed schultz. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show," live from new york. let's get to work. we are gratified with the court's ruling today. >> now with bankruptcy imminent. >> breaking news out of detroit right now. >> no, no, not detroit! no! retirees marched in it front of the courthouse in protest. >> there are no surprises in that ruling. >> this was a difficult and painful decision. >> so business as usual in detroit. >> a chance, i think, to move forward with a clean slate. >> lots of misinformation surrounding this story. i'm setting the record straight here. >> have a human dimension,